Bryan's Reviews > Critical Mass

Critical Mass by Duronimus Karlof
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Recommended to Bryan by: Merlin Crossley

Satires are hard things to write. Once the reader gets every facet of the joke, the rest of the book quickly becomes tiresome. So how to write a good satire, when you're writing for so many different readers? That's the fundamental challenge that this book strives mightily to overcome, without quite getting there.

The first 50-100 pages of "Critical Mass" are a joy to read, full of horribly insightful and accurate commentary about the nature of science, the humanities, and academia. Harvard, big science, fundraising, collaboration and the scientific method all get mercifully skewered, and there are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments. But after 350 pages, it all begins to get a bit repetitive. The story on its own isn't strong enough to carry things, and the author's clever observations eventually start to dry up. A must-read for all physicists and astronomers out there, plus anyone who has worked or studied at Harvard. But others may be disappointed.
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Reading Progress

November 13, 2014 – Started Reading
November 13, 2014 – Shelved
November 15, 2014 – Finished Reading

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